Pedal for longevity

The health benefits of bike commuting far outweigh the risks

Simply switching from driving to biking to work could add months to your life, according to a 2010 study of commuters in the Netherlands titled Do the Health Benefits of Cycling Outweigh the Risks? The researchers estimated:

• Life expectancy lost due to increased exposure to air pollution ranged from 0.8 to 40 days.

• Life expectancy lost due to traffic accidents ranged from five to nine days.

• Life expectancy gained from the increase in physical activity ranged from three to 14 months.

The researchers concluded that, on average, the benefits of cycling were about nine times greater than the risks.